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> following a well thought plan

This is a much bigger hurdle than it might seem; at any rate the biggest one for me personally. I have absolutely no idea how to create an exercise plan for myself, which exercises should I do and in which combination. And additionally, even if I had such a plan, I have no idea how to measure my progress, or whether and how to modify the plan depending on the progress.

The nice thing about being incredibly out of shape is that any plan will work. It's only the people that are in relatively good shape that need a good plan to see improvements.

That isn't quite true either, though. Though it becomes more difficult to aim to low, aiming too highly can easily lead to injury.

No, poor form can lead to injury.

Poor form is sometimes caused by fatigue, but that's about knowing your limitations.

Parent's point stands. Anything - in a reasonable sense - is better than nothing. If you do handstand push-ups day one, you deserve what you get.

Rippetoe's stuff is pretty good. The first book on why barbells and getting started:

* https://www.amazon.com/Starting-Strength-Basic-Barbell-Train...

After a few months you'll exhaust that (perhaps just take it out of the library?), and need more intermediate-level information:

* https://www.amazon.com/Practical-Programming-Strength-Traini...

Otherwise, some others have suggested a few Reddit threads; see also /r/fitness.

> I have absolutely no idea how to create an exercise plan for myself

Don't over complicate things. Do 5 sets of 5 reps of: * Bench Press (barbell) * Front Squat (barbell) * Dead Lift (barbell) * Pull Ups (weight hangs off a chain linked through a squat belt)

Have 1.5 to 2 minutes of recovery between each set. Do this 2 to 3 times a week with as much weight as you can lift.

How to progress: Write down exactly what you lift in a notebook and attempt to do exactly what you lifted for the previous workout with the only change being an increase of 1 to 5 lbs on one of the sets.

Cost: A monthly gym membership or about 50 cents a pound for second hand weights. About $25 for a second hand barbell. $25 for a second hand bench w/rack. So starting out pickup 300lbs of weight which is about $150 plus the cost of the barbell, bench w/rack, and squat belt should set you back about ~$200 (or the cost of a gym membership for 4 months.).

There are pre-prepared plans that you can follow, like https://old.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/kb/recommend...

You are right. I started with the book "Body Weight Strength Anatomy" by Bret Contreras. Then I used the internet to complement the gaps, watch youtube videos, etc.

Quiting social networks and watching/listening to news has helped to find time to learn and think about training.

Julian has a pretty good guide which I followed and gained substantial muscle from. It covers everything from diet to measuring growth


I like this one (7 exercises to keep firm body) which requires only some small hand weights and a chair:


If you can afford to spend a few hundred dollars then sign up for a few personal training sessions at your local gym. A good certified personal trainer can teach you proper form to avoid injury, and put together a customized workout routine that you can follow on your own.

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